Sarah Korcz, a senior at Community Montessori School in New Albany, Indiana, and an aspiring Egyptologist, has shared several of her Egyptological research papers with me, and expressed an interest in doing an article for Em Hotep. Since we were about due for a catch-up session with Jean-Pierre Houdin, and I knew from some of our conversations that Sarah is keenly interested in Jean-Pierre’s work with pyramids, I asked her if she would like to interview him for the website. She was quite happy to oblige.
Posts Tagged ‘Mehdi Tayoubi’
This is just a quick introduction to the Scan Pyramids Mission written by Marc Chartier and myself, in consultation with members of the Scan Pyramids Mission who have recently returned from Cairo. Our intention is to put this project into the context of some of the theories that have been asserted about the Great Pyramid. As this project unfolds, some of these theories may stand, some may fall. Stay tuned to Em Hotep, Pyramidales, and Égypte actualités as the Scanning Pyramids Mission unfolds for exclusives. They are just getting started… Enjoy!
For the French version, Visit Marc Chartier’s Pyramidales, otherwise, read on..
The Djedi Project is not just the new mission to explore the pyramid shafts—it truly is the next generation in robotic archaeology. Beginning with Waynman Dixon’s iron rods, researchers have been probing the Great Pyramid’s mysterious claustrophobic passageways for 140 years. But now, using technology designed for uses as divergent as space exploration and terrestrial search and rescue, we are finally able to explore the chamber behind Gantenbrink’s Door.
Picking up where we left off with Pyramid Rover, this Em Hotep exclusive covers how the Djedi Team won the “Robot Olympics in the Desert”, the members who make up the team, the specifics of the robot’s design, and the results of Djedi’s maiden voyage up QCS and into the chamber behind the first blocking stone. Through interviews and exchanges with the Djedi Project manager, Shaun Whitehead, as well as other team members, this article promises to be the resource for the published Djedi material to date.
Tags: Dassault Systemes, Djedi Project, Gantenbrink's Door, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu's Pyramid, Leeds University, Mehdi Tayoubi, Project Khufu, Project Upuaut, Pyramid Rover Project, QCS Chamber, Queen's Chamber, Queens Chamber Shafts, Richard Breitner, Robert Richardson, Robotic Archaeology, Shaun Whitehead, TC Ng, Zahi Hawass
One year ago today Em Hotep was present for the premier of Khufu Reborn at la Géode in Paris, France. Phase Two of Jean-Pierre Houdin’s work with the Great Pyramid of Khufu was revolutionary, but was preceded by another revolution in Egypt just two days prior. Now, on the one year anniversary of Khufu Reborn, we visit with Jean-Pierre to ask a few questions about his work, the impact of the January Revolution, and where we go from here.
Tags: Dassault Systemes, Florence Tran, January Revolution, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu Reborn, Khufu Revealed, Khufu's Pyramid, Laval University, Mehdi Tayoubi, Mohamed Ibrahim, Pyramid Shafts, Richard Breitner
Hidden Hieroglyphs in the Great Pyramid:3D Video Report Dassault Systèmes—an excellent video produced by the wizards of 3D animation at Dassault Systèmes (posted to YouTube May 30, 2011)
Em Hotep Articles
The best article online regarding the Djedi Project, and I don’t just say that because I wrote it! This article covers how the Djedi Team won the “Robot Olympics in the Desert”, the members who make up the team, the specifics of the robot’s design, and the results of Djedi’s maiden voyage up QCS and into the chamber behind the first blocking stone. The result of interviews and exchanges with the Djedi Project manager, Shaun Whitehead, as well as other team members.
The history of the exploration of the pyramid shafts beginning with their discovery by Waynman Dixon through the Upuaut and Pyramid Rover Projects. A must-read if you want the full background leading up to the Djedi Project.
Em Hotep’s coverage of the release of the preliminary findings of the glyphs in the QCS chamber, and the excitement that followed.
Websites and Journal Articles
I selected the Djedi team during a competition that I coordinated to pick the best possible robot to explore the shafts in the Great Pyramid. I decided on a team sponsored by Leeds University and supported by Dassault Systèmes in France.
The official website of Scoutek, the company founded by Shaun Whitehead, and which is providing management and systems engineering for the Djedi Project.“Scoutek is solidly based on over 40 years of experience in exploration and inspection technology, in the arenas of terrestrial, archaeological, space and subsea.”
- 3D Perspectives:Exclusive 3D reconstruction of the Djedi robot findings in the Great Pyramid—by Mehdi Tayoubi (May 31, 2011)
But 3D is not only a tool for engineers and we believe that the best way to experience this adventure for yourself is through 3D experiences we are able to deliver. We spent this weekend capturing images in real-time, in a virtual 3D world, to help the public -all publics- understand what the robot has seen.
- Leeds University Faculty of Engineering News:Djedi robot expedition reports findings—no author listed (May 26, 2011)
Pictures from inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu, gathered by a robot explorer designed by University of Leeds engineers, together with Scoutek, UK and Dassult Systèmes, France, have been published…The team has committed to completing the work by the end of 2011. Full results of the work will be published in due course. The next report is expected to be issued in early 2012 after completion of the work.
For his part, Zahi Hawass has continued to mention the possibility of a hidden chamber in the pyramid, based on the myth of Djedi…
They might be ancient graffiti tags left by a worker or symbols of religious significance. A robot has sent back the first images of markings on the wall of a tiny chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt that have not been seen for 4500 years. It has also helped settle the controversy about the only metal known to exist in the pyramid, and shows a “door” that could lead to another hidden chamber.
Top secret mission on the Giza Plateau: Under the strictest of secrecy and on instruction of the controversial Egyptian minister for antiquities, Zahi Hawass, a new mini robot crept through the passageways of the Pyramid of Cheops on the 29th May 2010. Its aim: To search for previously undiscovered secret chambers of the Pharaoh.
- Antiquity Lives:New robot set to explore mysterious shafts in Egypt’s Great Pyramid—by Aaron (no last name listed) (October 20, 2010)
A robotics team from the University of Leeds, working in conjunction with the Supreme Council and Dassault Systèmes in France, have already made two examinations and are currently waiting on the green light for a third.
A research team from the University of Leeds is set to discover secrets from Ancient Egypt using a specially designed robot. The tunnels the robot are set to explore have not been entered for over 4,500 years.
Fifteen years have gone by since Rudolf Gantenbrink’s robot unexpectedly revealed a copper-handled “door” in the southern shaft of the Queen’s Chamber during a routine survey of the Great Pyramid’s shafts in 1993.
- Dentistry IQ (via South China Morning Post):Dentist has to wait to get his teeth into history; Hong Kong practitioner’s search for pyramid’s last secret is put on hold by the uprising in Egypt—by Adrian Wan (May 29, 2011)
Because of the protests, Hawass has told the team to put off their exploration for safety reasons.But the Causeway Bay dentist for 30 years said he could not wait to get inside and resume work on the project of his dreams.”I’m not afraid of protesters .We’ll be working inside the very secure pyramid anyway,” he said. “We’ve been on the project for nine years and I really can’t wait to find out and show the world what’s behind it.”
- Discovery News:Pyramid-exploring robot reveals hidden hieroglyphs:Written in red paint, the symbols may help Egyptologists figure out why the mysterious shafts were built into the pyramids—by Rosella Lorenzi (May 26, 2011)
“We believe that if these hieroglyphs could be deciphered they could help Egyptologists work out why these mysterious shafts were built,” Rob Richardson, the engineer who designed the robot at the University of Leeds, said. The study was sponsored by Mehdi Tayoubi and Richard Breitner of project partners Dassault Systèmes in France.
- HK News Watch:Dentist digs deep to discover Giza secret—by Adrian Wan (December 28, 2010)
Team founder Dr Ng Tze-chuen – whose more than 30-year dental practice in Causeway Bay supports a passion for science that includes the designing of precision instruments for missions to Mars – is overjoyed at having the opportunity to help unlock the secrets of a section of the pyramid that, even at the time it was built, only very few could access.
- University of Leicester eBulletin:Space inspiration in quest to reveal enigma of pyramid:Former University of Leicester space researcher turns to exploring Egyptian mysteries—no author listed (August 18, 2010)
In the imaginations of millions of people across the world, the mysteries of space are only rivaled by the mysteries surrounding the Egyptian pyramids.Both tantalize with glimpses of little-understood worlds that never quite seem to be within reach, at least until now.In a surprising link between the two, a researcher has taken the principles he learned in the University of Leicester’s world renowned Space Research Centre and applied them to cross the divide, not of the Universe, but of more than 4,000 years of history.
Nobody knows where two unexplored air shafts leading from that ancient room lead. The hope is that the remote-controlled robotic tunnel explorer–which can fit through holes less than one inch in diameter–can drill through the secret door blocking the shafts and gather evidence that determines their purpose.
An attempt to explore a shaft in the Pyramid of Khufu, one of the ancient seven wonders of the world,has stymied archeologists and once again they turn to robots for help.
- The Independent:Robot to explore mysterious tunnels in Great Pyramid:For 4,500 years, no one has known what lies beyond two stone doors deep inside the monument—by Andrew Johnson (August 08, 2010)
For 4,500 years, the Great Pyramid at Giza has enthralled, fascinated and ultimately frustrated everyone who has attempted to penetrate its secrets.
Some believe these doors have a symbolic meaning because it is written on the Pyramid Text that the Pharaoh must travel through a series of doors to reach the Netherworld. But, I feel from the shape of the second door that it has another function.
Copyright by Keith Payne, 2011. All rights reserved.
Last week the news about the preliminary findings of the Djedi Project broke worldwide, and not without a little sensationalism. While sensationalism can be fun, it can also backfire when people form preconceived notions about what the findings mean.
“Red-painted numbers and graffiti are very common around Giza,” advises Peter Der Manuelian, an Egyptologist at Harvard University and director of the Giza Archives at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. “They are often masons’ or work-gangs’ marks, denoting numbers, dates or even the names of the gangs.”
There is a lot to be excited about with the Djedi mission, but we need to keep the discoveries in context until Egyptologists have had an opportunity to analyze the findings and their implications. But that does not mean that we can’t have some fun in the meanwhile…
Tags: Dassault Systemes, Djedi Project, Gantenbrink's Door, Khufu's Pyramid, Leeds University, Mehdi Tayoubi, Peter Der Manuelian, QCS Chamber, Queens Chamber Shafts, Robotic Archaeology, Shaun Whitehead
The Giza 3D Team at the Louvre Museum—Kate Bourdet takes us to the Louvre to explore the technical considerations of making scientifically accurate virtual reality models of locations and artifacts (posted to YouTube May 04, 2011)
3D and Egyptology—Peter Der Manuelian and Giza 3D in the classroom, with Dr. Manuelian demonstrating how the technology is used to transport students to the times and places being discussed (posted to YouTube April 5, 2011)
Avignon Forum 2010: The 3D Interactive Experience—Mehdi Tayoubi and Peter Der Manuelian discussing the importance of the Giza 3D Project (in French and English) (posted to YouTube November 17, 2010)
Harvard Viz Center—short clip of Peter Der Manuelian using the 3D VR tools in the classroom (posted to YouTube November 12, 2010)
Giza 3D Guided Tour—a clip of the Giza 3D fly through demo, narrated by Peter Der Manuelian (posted to YouTube November 08, 2010)
Reassembling Giza: The Tomb of Nefer—a three minute video showing some of the steps involved in reconstructing a tomb in 3d, including gathering puzzle pieces from all over the world and reassembling them in virtual reality (posted to Vimeo July 10, 2010)
Course Trailer Video: Pyramid Schemes: The Archaeological History of Ancient Egypt—Peter Der Manuelian’s video introduction to his Gen Ed course at Harvard, including some very nice high resolution clips of the Dassault Systèmes’ real-time 3D imaging software (posted to Vimeo July 10, 2010)
Giza 3D on France 3 TV (with English subtitles)—a 2.5 minute news feature story with Mehdi Tayoubi and more demo footage of the Giza 3D software (posted to YouTube June 05, 2010)
Dassault Systèmes and Boston Museum of Fine Arts: Giza 3D Preview—a two-minute fly through demo of the Giza 3D Project, including a trip around the Western Necropolis, down into a tomb, and a view from beneath the necropolis, without narration but in higher resolution (posted to YouTube April 22, 2010)
Dassault Systèmes 3D Giza Immersive Experience—another demo of the 3D technology, illustrating how smoothly participants can navigate their way through the landscape in real time (posted to YouTube April 22, 2010)
What’s Cool: Giza Web Site Highlights—a video summarizing the highlights of the Giza Web Site (posted to Vimeo April 14, 2009)
Giza Homepage Images Slideshow—historic dig and discovery photos, modern color images, and even some vintage postcard views of the Giza Plateau (posted to Vimeo April 10, 2009)
Search Giza from Above—video demonstrating how to use the top-down visual surveying tools on the Giza Archives website (posted to Vimeo April 10, 2009)
The Giza Digital Library—Peter Der Manuelian describes how to make use of the hundreds of online books and journal articles archived at the Giza website (posted to Vimeo April 10, 2009)
Why are the Tombs at Giza Important?—this 12-minute video is taken from a lecture on Giza by Peter Der Manuelian, Giza Archives Director at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It took place at the Museum of Fine Arts on April 3, 2009 (posted to Vimeo April 6, 2009)
Websites and Journal Articles
Dassault Systèmes and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), announce a strategic partnership to enable real-time virtual reconstruction of the Giza plateau based on actual archeological data.
This Web site is a comprehensive resource for research on Giza. It contains photographs and other documentation from the original Harvard University – Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition (1904 to 1947), from recent MFA fieldwork, and from other expeditions, museums, and universities around the world.
News from the Giza Archives at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
From my earliest study of ancient Egypt, I realized that sharing the excitement of this field with others would always play a major role in my career. Many of the great scholars with whom I have studied were also extraordinary teachers, and I have always wanted to follow their example.
His primary research interests include ancient Egyptian history, archaeology, epigraphy, the development of mortuary architecture, and the (icono)graphic nature of Egyptian language and culture in general. He has published on diverse topics and periods in Egyptian history, but currently focuses on the third millennium BC, and specifically on the famous Giza Necropolis, just west of modern Cairo.
Museums have begun to discover that, with the help of technology, their vast collections, and the intellectual property that accompanies them can reach both the scholar and the interested layman far beyond the doors of the physical museum building itself.
Dr. der Manuelian began by taking the audience back to a quieter time; as in 1927, when one reached the great pyramids via a street car traveling up the Al Pharon. Work at the Giza Plateau at the turn of the century was a sort of “Indiana Jones” type of affair, during which great quantities of objects, papyrus and debris was removed, and some of the world great museums were the major benefactors.
The main goal was to teach the 3D artists who will recreate the whole Giza world what’s important in terms of design. For example, I learned that proportion of Egyptian objects meet very tight rules. Our team had then to understand what the rulers were and how to use them.
Peter Der Manuelian tells me that Giza 3D at Harvard’s immersive virtual reality Viz Center is up and running, and the 170 undergraduate students in his “Pyramid Schemes” Egyptian archaeology class are loving it!
Our ultimate goal is to preserve and post the world’s collected archaeological knowledge about the Giza pyramids, and we can only accomplish this challenge with the help of the world community.
- 3D Perspectives: Three Questions for Harvard Professor Peter Der Manuelian—by Kate Bourdet (April 22, 2010)
I must confess I got excited when I learned about Dassault Systèmes’ partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The entire Giza Archives in 3D for educational and research experiential/interactive discoveries!
The Giza Archives Project is a very useful and comprehensive online resource for anyone interested in the Giza Necropolis. Excavations that have occurred in the area are documented on the site.
- Newsweek: Of Pyramids and Protesters: As Egypt transitions to democracy, Egyptians from all walks of life are stepping up to protect the country’s ancient heritage—by Peter Der Manuelian (April 10, 2011)
How do Egyptologists view these events through the lens of Egypt’s millennia-old civilization? As the playing field has turned upside down, some of us might remember the admonitions of an ancient Egyptian sage named Ipuwer. Some of his phrases almost seem aimed at Hosni Mubarak himself: “We do not know what will happen throughout the land…Indeed, the laws of the council chamber are thrown out…See, things have been done which have not happened for a long time past; the king has been deposed by the rabble. You have deceived the whole populace. It seems that [your] heart prefers to ignore [the problems]. Have you done that which will make them happy? Have you given life to the people? They cover their faces in fear of the morning.”
- French/American Chamber of Commerce Blog: The French connection in the archaeology of the Egyptian Pyramids—by Ami Wright (March 28, 2011)
At first glance, the archeology of the Egyptian pyramids might seem out of place at an event devoted to the French economic presence in New England, but there is actually a connection. Professor Manuelian is Director of the Giza Archives Project at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The Giza Archives Project has recently begun collaborating with Dassault Systèmes to create a 3D virtual model of the entire Giza plateau.
- Harvard Gazette: Generally a happy anniversary: Gen Ed curriculum expands, draws interest after its first year—by Paul Massari (December 02, 2010)
“The course has given me a chance to go beyond what I would normally experience in a classroom,” said William Weingarten ’11. “I’ve enjoyed getting the chance to travel out to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and to visit the Visualization Center here at Harvard to get a deeper intuition for what Egypt was really like thousands of years ago.”
- My Science: Peter Der Manuelian Named Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology—no author listed (May 12, 2010)
Der Manuelian has led a 10-year effort to digitize extensive materials pertaining to the Old Kingdom Giza Necropolis, a 4,500-year-old array of tombs, temples, and artifacts near Egypt’s famous Giza pyramids.
- All Art News: Boston’s MFA Uses Dassault’s 3D Tech to Study Pyramids—no author listed (May 03, 2010)
Dassault Systèmes, a world leader in 3D software solutions and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), one of the world’s most important encyclopedic art museums, today announced that they will join forces in a strategic innovation partnership to bring the power of industrial and experiential 3D to the domain of archaeology.
- Art Museum Journal: Dassault Systèmes and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston use 3-D technology to study Giza Pyramids—by Stan Parchin (April 21, 2010)
Dassault Systèmes (DS), a world leader in three-dimensional software solutions, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) announced today a strategic innovation partnership related to the Giza Archives Project, the museum’s digital initiative that assembles and links the world’s archaeological information on the pyramids and mastabas (tombs) at the Giza Plateau. The collaboration will enable real-time virtual reconstruction of the ancient structures.
Tags: Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Dassault Systemes, Egyptian Tombs, George Reisner, Giza 3D Project, Giza Archives Project, Giza Plateau, Harvard University, Kate Bourdet, Mehdi Tayoubi, Peter Der Manuelian
These media are from the Khufu Reborn/Khufu Renaissance phase of Project Khufu, an international and interdisciplinary initiative to explain how the Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Khufu was built based on the theories and research of French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin.
Sealing the King’s Chamber—animation uploaded by Marc Chartier (posted to YouTube February 09, 2011)
Sealing the King’s Chamber Up Close—another animation of the sealing mechanism uploaded by Marc Chartier, focusing on the sealing blocks (posted to YouTube February 09, 2011)
Architects Find New Rooms in the Pyramid of Khufu—Indonesian coverage of Khufu Reborn, but the clips are fantastic (posted to YouTube February 04, 2011)
An Architect Uncovers the Secrets of the Great Pyramid—Euronews’ coverage of Khufu Reborn, again in French but visually wonderful (posted to YouTube February 02, 2011)
Khufu Reborn coverage on France 3—French language, but excellent clips (posted to YouTube February 02, 2011)
Khufu Pyramid Secret Rooms—English-language coverage of Khufu Reborn from CCTV News (posted to YouTube January 29, 2011)
Websites and Journal Articles
Thursday was ‘D Day’ and Jean-Pierre and Dassault Systèmes ended all the intrigue and mystery with their spectacular 3D presentation of Episode 2 “Legacy of Khufu” at the La Géode conference in Paris.
In three days time Jean-Pierre Houdin and Dassault Systèmes will be at a conference in La Géode to reveal ‘Khufu Reborn’, the sequel to Jean-Pierre’s internal spiral ramp theory.
- NTD Television: French Architect Discovers New Rooms in Ancient Khufu Pyramid—no author listed. (January 28, 2011)
French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin unveiled in Paris on Thursday the existence of two hidden and so far unknown rooms in Egypt’s Great Pyramid. No one had ever suspected the existence of any such rooms. But in his many visits to Khufu’s king’s chamber, Houdin noticed that one stone element in the burial room was not supporting any weight and therefore had once been a passage. According to funeral rites of ancient Egypt, kings would be buried with all their belongings in close proximity. In other pyramids these items are situated in a room adjacent to the burial room.
A French architect campaigning for a new exploration of the 4,500-year-old Great Pyramid of Giza said on Thursday that the edifice may contain two chambers housing funereal furniture.
These media are from the Khufu Revealed phase of Project Khufu, Jean-Pierre Houdin’s work up to and ending with the premier of Khufu Reborn in January 2011.
National Geographic Expedition Week: Unlocking the Great Pyramid—the NatGeo special on Jean-Pierre Houdin’s Khufu Revealed work, in its entirety! (posted to YouTube March 17, 2011)
Another Pyramid Fly Through—this one even better! (posted to YouTube August 17, 2009)
Jean-Pierre Houdin and Bob Brier Interviewed—Associated Press (posted to YouTube November 19, 2008)
Interview with Jean-Pierre Houdin—World News Australia (posted to YouTube November 13, 2008)
Great Pyramid Mystery Solved?—National Geographic short piece from their special on Jean-Pierre Houdin’s work, Unlocking the Great Pyramid (posted to YouTube October 31, 2008)
Jean-Pierre Houdin and Mehdi Tayoubi Interviewed—Also French audio, but also worth viewing for the clips (posted to YouTube June 24, 2007)
Jean-Pierre Houdin, Mehdi Tayoubi, Richard Breitner Interviewed—French audio, but the clips of the Dassault Systèmes animations make it worth viewing even if you don’t speak French (posted to YouTube June 24, 2007)
Pyramid of Cheops by Jean-Pierre Houdin—Spanish-language coverage of Khufu Revealed, as always the visuals make viewing desirable even if you don’t speak the language (posted to YouTube April 3, 2007)
Pyramid Fly Through–The Khufu Pyramid modeled by architect Jean-Pierre Houdin in Dassault Systèmes’ 3D Life. (posted to YouTube April 01, 2007)
Websites and Journal Articles
The site dedicated to the first phase of Jean-Pierre Houdin’s internal ramp theory. The site provides a good, basic explanation of the general concepts of the theory up to that point, with sections for explanations, clues/evidence, and a 3D demo that requires installation of Dassault Systèmes’ proprietary 3d viewer, 3DVIA, which can be downloaded from the site.
- Heritage Key: Exclusive Interview: Jean-Pierre Houdin Defends His Internal Ramp Pyramid Theory—by Malcolm Jack (September 07, 2009)
The question of how the Great Pyramid of Giza was built is one of the most hotly-debated topics in ancient history. Maverick French architect and self-styled “Mr. Pyramid” Jean-Pierre Houdin is determined that he has the answer – the 4,569 year-old monument was, he argues, erected from the inside-out, using an internal ramp built into the fabric of the structure. Others are skeptical of his theory, but Houdin is certain he has the proof.
- Heritage Key: Building the Great Pyramid of Giza: Jean-Pierre Houdin’s Internal Ramp Theory—by Malcolm Jack (September 04, 2009)
We know lots about the Great Pyramid of Giza – it’s age (about 4,569 years), who it was built for (the Fourth Dynasty Egyptian King Khufu), who designed it (Khufu’s brother, the architect Hemienu) and even who rolled up their sleeves and did the work (tens of thousands of skilled labourers from across the kingdom, as opposed to slaves as was once believed). But ask a room full of experts how it was built, and you can expect a whole lot of head-scratching and beard-stroking, followed by heated argument and possibly some light fisticuffs.
- Talking Pyramids: How Were the Egyptian Pyramids Built? Part 5: Houdin’s Internal Ramp—by Vincent Brown (April 10, 2008)
French Architect Jean-Pierre Houdin has a revolutionary theory on how the pyramids were built. He looked at the three main existing theories: the large long straight ramp used to drag the stone up on sleds or rolled on logs, the wooden ‘machines’ mentioned by Herodotus & the spiral ramp theory.
In 1999, Henri Houdin, a retired French civil engineer, was watching a television documentary on the construction of Egypt’s ancient pyramids. He had supervised many dam and bridge projects, and much of what he saw on the show struck him as impractical. “It was the usual pyramid-building theories, but he wasn’t satisfied as an engineer,” says his son, Jean-Pierre, an independent architect. “He had a sparkle in the brain. ‘If I had to build one now, I would do it from the inside out.’
Of the seven wonders of the ancient world, only the Great Pyramid of Giza remains. An estimated 2 million stone blocks weighing an average of 2.5 tons went into its construction. When completed, the 481-foot-tall pyramid was the world’s tallest structure, a record it held for more than 3,800 years, when England’s Lincoln Cathedral surpassed it by a mere 44 feet.
- National Geographic News: Great Pyramid Mystery to be Solved by Hidden Room?—by Brian Handwerk (November 14, 2008)
A sealed space in Egypt’s Great Pyramid may help solve a centuries-old mystery: How did the ancient Egyptians move two million 2.5-ton blocks to build the ancient wonder?
- National Geographic Channel: Unlocking the Great Pyramid—by Bob Brier (November 11, 2008)
It always surprises my students when I tell them we don’t know how the Great Pyramid of Giza was built. Dancing in their heads are Hollywood’s images of lots of guys hauling blocks up a huge ramp. The truth is, that simply won’t work. In order for the workers to pull the blocks, the ramp would have to have a gentle slope, but the pyramid is 480 feet high and that would mean that Hollywood’s ramp stretches for more than a mile. The ramp would be greater in volume than the pyramid! Also, archaeologists have never found the remains of such a ramp, and something that big doesn’t just disappear in the dry desert. So how the Great Pyramid was built is still one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of our time.
- Free Republic: Egyptologists use high-tech software to analyze construction of the Great Pyramid—by Sumathi Reddy and Nia-Malika Henderson (October 21, 2008)
Using cutting edge technology, Egyptologist Bob Brier of the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University delved into the only standing wonder of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid, and uncovered the mystery behind cracks in the massive Egyptian structure, unearthing a new room along the way.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, the sole surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, stands today as the most massive puzzle in the history of civilization.
- National Geographic News: Great Pyramid Built Inside Out, French Architect Says—by Dan Morrison (April 02, 2007)
Ancient Egyptians built the 480-foot-high (146-meter-high) Great Pyramid of Giza from the inside out, according to a French architect. Based on eight years of study, Jean-Pierre Houdin has created a novel three-dimensional computer simulation to present his hypothesis. He says his findings solve the mystery of how the massive monument just outside Cairo was constructed.
On Friday March 30th 2007, the biggest VR screen was inaugurated with a great event; A big show at La Géode (IMAX theater in Paris) to unveil the theory of Jean-Pierre Houdin about his theory on the construction of the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Kheops).
A French architect claims to have solved the mystery of how Egypt’s Great Pyramid was built. Jean-Pierre Houdin said the 4,500-year-old pyramid, just outside Cairo, was built using an inner ramp to lift the massive stones into place.
Tags: Bob Brier, Dassault Systemes, Internal Ramp, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu, Khufu Reborn, Khufu Revealed, King's Chamber, Marc Chartier, Mehdi Tayoubi, Project Khufu, Richard Breitner, Vincent Brown
The legacy Pharaoh Snefru left to his heir, Khufu, included more than the crown and wealth of the Old Kingdom. Building on an architectural and engineering revolution that stretched at least as far back as Pharaoh Djoser’s Master Builder, Imhotep, Khufu’s own architect Hemienu was determined to build a monument that would last the ages. To say the least, he was successful.
But erecting the final resting place of a god-king involved more than structural and aesthetic considerations. Hemienu was creating sacred ground, and within Khufu’s holy mountain there were specific paths to be trodden and a celestial order of operations to be observed.
Beginning with the physical evidence from the pyramid, Jean-Pierre Houdin pieces these ancient traditions together in a way that suggests where to look and what to look for in unlocking the secrets of the Great Pyramid. This is the third in a series of articles and interviews conducted by Marc Chartier with Jean-Pierre and other key members of Team Khufu, provided in English exclusively to Em Hotep.
Tags: Bent Pyramid, Corbelling, Dassault Systemes, Giza Plateau, Grand Gallery, Hemienu, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu Reborn, Khufu's Pyramid, King's Chamber, Marc Chartier, Mehdi Tayoubi, Noble Circuit, Project Khufu, Red Pyramid, Snefru
Part Two of Marc Chartier’s interview with Jean-Pierre Houdin following the premier of Kheops Renaissance, the long-awaited Episode Two of Project Khufu. This interview is part of a series of articles that first appeared on the website Pyramidales, run by Marc Chartier. These exclusive English-language translations are provided to Em Hotep courtesy of Marc, Jean-Pierre Houdin, and Dassault Systèmes.
Tags: Dassault Systemes, Giza Plateau, Hemienu, Internal Ramp, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu Reborn, Khufu's Pyramid, King's Chamber, Marc Chartier, Mehdi Tayoubi, Noble Circuit, Project Khufu, Relieving Compartments, The Great Pyramid
Just hours before the premier of Kheops Renaissance (also called Khufu Reborn), Jean-Pierre Houdin granted an exclusive interview to fellow Egyptology blogger Marc Chartier, proprietor of the website Pyramidales. Timed for release immediately following the event, Marc’s interview is a perfect introduction to Episode Two and the Project Khufu material that will be forthcoming from both Pyramidales and Em Hotep.
Previously available only in French, this is the first official English language translation, made available through our partnership with Pyramidales and Dassault Systèmes. Over the next few weeks I will be publishing, in addition to Part Two of this interview, translations of additional material that is being very kindly provided by Marc, Jean-Pierre, and the Project Khufu team at Dassault Systèmes. This will allow me some time to get caught up and reoriented after having to take one of my infamous sabbaticals (sometimes life just shows up with a bag full of challenges, but all is well, Gentle Reader!).
Dassault Systèmes, with their Passion for Innovation program, is emerging as a major player in bringing cutting edge technology to the field of Egyptology. Whether you are talking about creating immersive 3D environments to simulate tombs and monuments, fusing non-invasive surveying techniques to high-definition imagery, or simply bringing the most interesting Egyptian people, places, and things to the widest audience possible, Dassault Systèmes’ Mehdi Tayoubi is at the forefront with some new technology.
I promised I would try to get another chapter of Hemienu to Houdin out before leaving for Paris and the premier of Khufu Reborn, but in these last days it just became too impractical. Part of what makes the series so fun and informative is my fairly unrestricted access to the man himself, Jean-Pierre Houdin. But as he and the team from Dassault Systèmes make the final arrangements at la Géode, Jean-Pierre’s time has become an increasingly rare commodity. Besides, in a couple of days I will be able to talk with him face-to-face without feeling like I am imposing on his schedule.
So the series will conclude when I return from the conference and coverage of “Episode 2: Khufu Reborn” will begin in earnest. But in the meanwhile I am offering this excellent insider’s glimpse into how Dassault Systèmes became involved with Jean-Pierre and future directions we can anticipate. My good friend and fellow Egyptology blogger (still hate that word), Marc Chartier, proprietor of the Pyramidales website, recently had the opportunity to interview Mehdi Tayoubi, Director of Interactive Innovation at Dassault Systèmes.
By a special arrangement with Marc I have translated the interview from its original French and am presenting it here in its entirety for my English-language readers. The original interview, in French, is available from Pyramidales here.
Well, I have been hinting about it for months now, and it’s almost here: On January 27, 2011, Episode Two of Jean-Pierre Houdin’s work with the Great Pyramid, called Khufu Reborn, will premiere at La Géode in Paris, and your Humble Scribe will be there to cover the event and try his best to get some inside scoop.
Methinks I will be successful…
French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin, whose work is the subject of the Em Hotep series Hemienu to Houdin, and whose pioneering collaboration with Dassault Systèmes introduced industrial 3D architectural and engineering simulation to the field of archaeology, will be recognized for his work at a week-long archaeological film festival in Cairo next week.
An architect among archaeologists, Jean-Pierre will be addressing the French Institute of Eastern Archaeology, and his documentary film, Kheops Révélé, will kick off the festival.
Can’t make it to Egypt this summer? Never fear, Peter Der Manuelian and Mehdi Tayoubi are combining Fourth Dynasty architecture, Twentieth (and 21st) Century archaeology, and Generation Wow technology to take you places that would be off limits even if you were in Egypt.
From scanning the landscape to crawling down into ancient tombs, you are there, dude.